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Packback Year in Review

Written by Kelsey Barnholt on . Posted in White Papers & Articles

A Year in Review: Chicago Startup Packback Sees Success through Research-Driven Approach

Over the past year, Leo J. Shapiro & Associates (Shapiro), a Chicago-based strategic research firm with a long history of developing and launching new products and services, worked alongside budding tech startup, Packback Books (Packback), to help it launch its new eTextbook rental system. Through its Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Program, Shapiro helped Packback better understand its market and develop its product.

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2013 Q4 National Poll

Written by Ken Rice on . Posted in National Poll

Government Knocks Consumers Off Course

The government shutdown and shaky launch of healthcare.gov have undermined consumer confidence this quarter.

SPENDING

Christmas
More consumers say they plan to rein in their Christmas spending this year than last year. We expect to see little or no increase in holiday spending this year after adjusting for population growth and inflation.

Consumables
Consumers continue to restrain spending for food and clothing but spend more freely for gasoline, as a result of lower prices.

Major Purchases
The increase seen earlier this year in purchase plans for big-ticket items evaporates this quarter, except for continuing interest in televisions. Demand for air travel also is higher than a year ago, despite a substantial decline from last quarter.

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2013 Q3 National Poll

Written by Ken Rice on . Posted in National Poll

Consumers coming out of their shells

Though still cautious, consumers are starting to spend more freely.

SPENDING

Consumables
Day-to-day spending for food, clothing, and gas is consistent with last quarter and up from a year ago.

Major Purchases
Buying plans and active shopping are up sharply for travel (airfare, lodging) and up for electronics (computers, TVs). Consumers shift toward shopping for new cars, rather than used ones, this quarter. Active shopping for housing and furniture also improve.

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Packback Selected

Written by Owen Shapiro on . Posted in White Papers & Articles

Packback selected as inaugural startup in Shapiro's new Entrepreneur in Residence program

Shapiro has selected e-textbook rental company Packback as the inaugural startup in its new Entrepreneur in Residence Program.

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2013 Q2 National Poll

Written by Ken Rice on . Posted in National Poll

Consumers save their money for another day

Consumers have some extra cash now, but might not part with it anytime soon.

SPENDING

Consumables
In day-to-day shopping, consumers relaxed their restraints on spending for clothing, and also used gasoline more freely than a year ago. However, they curbed their spending for food this quarter.

Major Purchases
Although more consumers feel it is “a good time to make a major purchase” than a year ago (37%, up from 33%), there has been little change in purchase plans and shopping activity for most big-ticket products. There are modest gains for computers and large appliances compared to a year ago, and a seasonal increase in plans to purchase hotel/motel stays.